Students march against abortion in St. Paul

Rose Conry

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, January 23, 2009, the annual March for Life in St. Paul attracted thousands of Minnesotans, including several BSM students. The school’s pro-life duo of senior Maria Dzurik and junior John Hite joined by three of their fellow students marched alongside 5,000 other individuals from the St. Paul Cathedral to the Capitol to demonstrate their support for pro-life iniatives.

Compared to previous years, attendance for the march rose due the proposed Freedom of Choic Act. Greater numbers of supporters traveled to St. Paul to urge lawmakers to vote against this bill that would reverse many of the restrictions the pro-life movement worked to place on abortions over the past decades.
Parents and teachers recommended these students to attend the event for a variety of reasons. “We were told to go so we could see how many people were active in the movement just in our community,” said Hite.
Dzurik elected to participate to represent the values of her family. “My family has strong beliefs on the issue and they wanted me to voice their opinion,” she said.
Before they began marching, participants gathered in the Cathedral for a prayer service where several speakers shared personal stories that dealt with abortion, and Archbishop Nienstedt also also spoke on the issue. Both Dzurik and Hite enjoyed this aspect of the rally. “It seemed more genuine than the march,” said Dzurik.
In particular, the Archbishop’s speech interested Dzurik. “He explained why the Church is against abortion since it violates human dignity, but he also sympathized with women who feel forced to have an abortion,” she said.
Hite treasured the opportunity to listen as others spoke of their personal experiences. “It was very humbling hearing the people’s stories,” he said.
Unfortunately, these students felt that the march across St. Paul offered less rewarding experiences than the prayer service due to the closed-mindedness of the speakers that heard when they arrived at the Capitol. “The speakers were completely against anyone who did not support their side of the issue,” said Hite.
Overall, the students appreciated being able to take part in something bigger than themselves. “It was cool to be part of a rally,” said Dzurik.
The March for Life brought a special chance for students to express their beliefs on the issue of abortion and other pro-life concerns, but Dzurik and Hite have been actively involved in the movement since the beginning of this school-year. “Once a month we go to pro-life meetings in St. Paul with students from Catholic schools across the archdiocese,” said Dzurik.